Fel Flame, the warlock Scorch? No thanks

1 Human Mage
0

Fel Flame has gotten a slight rework. It now has a 1.5 second cast time, but can always be cast while moving. Also, it no longer extends the duration of damage over time effects (and, as such, no longer causes them to lose their "snapshotted" stats) and has gotten a small damage buff. The intent here is that you should be able to use this to keep up some damage when you need to move, but you'll want to stick to your standard rotation otherwise.

I do not like this change.

Sure, it 'works', but it completely removes everything that was special about fel flame.

I do not understand this burning desire to 'balance through homogenization'. If I wanted to play with scorch, I would play my mage.

I liked the fact (yes, even with the 'snapshotting' issue) that Fel Flame increased the duration of my debuffs. I had entire rotations (esp for destro) revolving around that fact, where I weave in fel flames to buff the durations, all the while increasing my embers. It added a whole lot of dynamism to the lock class that was specifically channeled through fel flame.

I feel like things are being balanced to appeal to only the lowest common denominator. This entire concept of making things the same and 'buffing damage' so that the plebs don't QQ is something I am fundamentally against.

I keep coming back to the same example I have used before, since so many changes are triggering the pressure point at the core of the following example:

Say you had two classes, A and B.

Class A does 100 DPS, and it does it through the use of a cool rotation, with a variety of spells that need to be used in interesting ways. The casting experience is involved, deep, unique, and fun.

Class B also does 100 DPS, but it has 1 spell that is a 3 min CD, and that immediately jumps you to the top of the meters when used. You can use the spell 2 times per fight, but using the spell will guarantee that you will do 100 DPS. For the times you are not casting the spell, you basically just stand around doing nothing and being /bored.

Both classes are completely numerically balanced, but class B is painfully boring to play.

Now sure, this is an extreme example, but it is poignant right now since I fear we are getting to a spot where we are sacrificing uniqueness, depth of gameplay, and 'fun' purely in return for numerical parity, and we are doing this in situations that really do not need it.
And the core way this is happening is through homogenization.

People say "compare the full package", but in the 'full package' this new fel flame is exactly the same as the mage's scorch.

You would use both in exactly the same situation for exactly the same reasons. They are both just 1.5 sec casted spells you use while moving and pretty much no other situation.

This is bad (and you should feel bad?) for two core reasons. We should not homogenize the classes even more, and, we should not remove depth of gameplay.

If you want to solve the 'snapshotting' issue, use some other method other than just throwing your hands up and saying "oops... can't solve it, homogenize!" (especially without even trying).

And please, if you want to sell a change to the players, don't just say "WE'LL GIVE IT MOAR DAMAGE!". It will placate the ignorant masses, sure, but its the wrong thing to do.

I'm kind of tired with this whole "just give it damage and they will love it" idea. I realize that the average WoW player could care less about class variety, negative effects of homogenization, design parity, and a whole host of non-damage related issues (since most, if not all, are too busy with their special interests lobbying and class favoritism BS), but let us not feed these narrow viewpoints just so we can lobby for homogenization.

We should be lobbying against it.

And to the players, stop eating up changes just because its "ZOMG DAMAGE".

Fel Flame was an extremely unique and fun single target instant cast spell. Let us try to preserve that please?
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It is strictly inferior to scorch. It costs a boatload of mana and doesn't help you proc pyroblast. Scorch is actually a very useful spell...for fire mages. This poor man's version doesn't do anything for locks. It is arguably a nerf since it used to be an instant and now exposes to you to having two spell schools locked.

I'm just shaking my head here at the designers.
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1 Human Mage
0
06/18/2013 05:07 AMPosted by Sybhyl
It is strictly inferior to scorch. It costs a boatload of mana and doesn't help you proc pyroblast. Scorch is actually a very useful spell...for fire mages.

While scorch can proc heating up, you will never use it for that purpose since doing so is a markable DPS loss over using the more traditional fireball/(glyphed)FFB.

You really will only use Scorch for movement, thats it. If you happen to proc a heating up, then that is just pure luck and chance and a bonus, but it is not the intent.

When you see intent, Scorch and the new Fel Flame are identical. Both are only used purely when you need to move and nothing more.

But I too, like you, am not feeling these new changes. I feel like no one else cares about homogenization.
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90 Human Warlock
14185
The FF change is pointless at best and dangerous at worst, and provides no solution to the mobility issues Destro will face in the upcoming patch.
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My point is that scorch does more than just give you something to cast while moving. The new and not so improved fel flame has no real synergy with lock mechanics, especially not destro. It is a filler in the worst possible sense. And at 60,000 mana per cast it is no bargain.
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1 Human Mage
0
06/18/2013 05:18 AMPosted by Sybhyl
My point is that scorch does more than just give you something to cast while moving.

Fel Flame still generates Embers and DF, so it still 'does more' but that is not the point.

I do not want this to turn into an argument about which one is better or worse. That really isn't the point.

The point is that they are basically the same now. That a form of homogenization is taking place that is not needed.

Fel Flame should not be the numerically weaker/stronger version of a Lock's scorch. And separating the two based just on which one is numerically better is completely pointless.

I stress again, my issue is not with the numerics. It is with the design.
Edited by Zomgdps on 6/18/2013 5:32 AM PDT
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They are not the same. That is my point. I'm not hugely bothered by homogenization done right. But this isn't it. Scorch is a dirt cheap little darling that fit perfectly within the larger framework of the fire mage's procs and and instants and can be substituted in a pinch for fireball when moving without disrupting the overall flow of the spec.

From a destro standpoint none of the above applies here. All I see here is a mana sink. 5 globals and you are oom. I doubt this will do more than produce a single ember. As soon as you stop moving you will immediately have to cast a chaos bolt just to replenish mana.
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1 Human Mage
0
06/18/2013 05:36 AMPosted by Sybhyl
They are not the same.

They are both 1.5 second cast time spells that you will only cast when needing to move and both generate 'resource' for their respective classes. Fel flame generates DF/Embers, Scorch generates procs (which is the real mage resource).

You say they are different due to the amount of mana they use. I say that is a pointless difference that has no bearing on their usability or the design outlined above. (primarily since the lock and mage mana model is completely different.

Furthermore, if you are QQing about FF mana cost, that has nothing to do with the change, since its mana cost was not altered. IF you wanted to dig into the numerics (and if that was the point of this thread, which it isn't) you would see that the MPS (mana per second) for FF is identical to how it was before.

If you think mages go around spamming scorch "as a substitute for fb" as optimal play. You are wrong. Plain and simple.

If you were going oom spamming FF previously, not only were you doing it wrong anyway, but you will continue to be doing so irrespective of this change.

All that aside, pointing to a spells mana cost and saying "that is why it is different" is precisely the issue I am talking about. You are not only missing the big picture, but you are completely ignoring the fact that mana works very differently for mages and locks.

At the end of the day, if you are a mage and you need to move, you will use scorch, and nowhere else.

With the new FF, if you are a lock and you need to move, you will use FF, and nowhere else.

That is the point.
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1 Human Mage
0
Also remember, I am not saying the spells are identical. So there is no need to come in here and say "lololo they are not the same coz they spelled different".

Please try to understand that what I am saying, is that on a 'complete package' level, both spells serve the exact same purpose now and are both an identical solution, design wise, for 'spells to use when mobile'.

That is the homogenization, i.e. homogenization of design.
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97 Draenei Shaman
4455
They're not identical, but they are basically the same thing-- spells you only cast when you need to move.

I don't main a warlock, but I do have a 90 warlock and keep up on theorycraft, and as far as I can tell, Fel Flame actually had no use in the modern PvE warlock's arsenal. There was no actual reason to use it, ever. With this change, it will have a purpose.

Obviously this is a nerf from 5.3, where you can basically move all the time and maintain your full normal priority. Affliction and certainly demo deserve nerfs, but destro does not. Destro should get some compensation.
Edited by Slant on 6/18/2013 8:48 AM PDT
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100 Human Mage
14695
I don't think we can talk much about the mana/damage of these abilities yet. I'm sure they'll probably be tweaked.

I just don't understand the design. Scorch was removed from the mage talent tree because it made arcane/frost too mobile, right? So why are they giving a version of it to warlocks in addition to a more powerful ice floes?

Will single target stand still be balanced to be lower relative to mages if movement DPS for warlocks is higher than movement DPS for mage specs?

I also don't understand the notion that movement is worse for a channeled ability with periodic ticks than it is for hard casted spells.
Edited by Mumrit on 6/18/2013 8:44 AM PDT
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97 Draenei Shaman
4455
06/18/2013 08:41 AMPosted by Mumrit
I just don't understand the design. Scorch was removed from the mage talent tree because it made arcane/frost too mobile, right? So why are they giving a version of it to warlocks in addition to a more powerful ice floes?

That is a very good point. It feels like there are two factions of developers, pro and anti ranged movement.

We saw recent tweets from GC saying that the devs thought ranged movement was fun, and that rather than nerfing it across the board, they were going to find a different niche for melee. Ranged cheered, melee were cautiously optimistic.

Then we have this patch, where they're removing movement from warlocks, but allowing hunters to continue 100% mobile.

Is that because two factions of devs are battling? Or is it because they want warlocks to use the other two L90 talents? And if the latter, couldn't they find a different way to make the KJC alternatives more attractive, rather than enraging all the warlocks in the middle of an expansion?

GC always says the biggest reason players quit is when their gameplay changes abruptly. This is a big change. Why do it mid-expansion? Is it so important to the game's integrity that it's worth the already huge backlash?
Edited by Slant on 6/18/2013 8:53 AM PDT
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They're not identical, but they are basically the same thing-- spells you only cast when you need to move.

I don't main a warlock, but I do have a 90 warlock and keep up on theorycraft, and as far as I can tell, Fel Flame actually had no use in the modern PvE warlock's arsenal. There was no actual reason to use it, ever. With this change, it will have a purpose.

Obviously this is a nerf from 5.3, where you can basically move all the time and maintain your full normal priority. Affliction and certainly demo deserve nerfs, but destro does not. Destro should get some compensation.


As things presently stand, this iteration of felflame is useless for destro. It not the same thing as scorch, which actually is a good and useful thing to cast for fire mages.

Not every filler is the same or makes sense in its context. I like scorch. I'd love to have a warlock equivalent. But this spell isn't it. It will not allow a destruction warlock to flow in the way that a fire mage does, especially since a fire mage has exactly one hard cast spell to worry about: fireball. Scorch just substitutes for fireball as needed, with the rest of the arsenal available both during movement or not.

Destro is nothing but hardcasts: immolate, incinerate, and the slow as molasses chaos bolt. You can't just plop one spell here and call it a day like that. We already have fleflame. Nobody casts this spell now for the same exact reasons nobody will cast the newer and worse version of it. Too much mana, too little damage. Turning this from an instacast to a 1.5s spell that can be used on the move accomplishes nothing.

The actual functional equivalent to scorch here for destro would be incinerate. Make that mobile while casting, make everything else require hardcasts, and then you'd have something near the flavor of a fire mage.
Edited by Sybhyl on 6/18/2013 9:39 AM PDT
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^ Sums it up for destruction... it'll break us in PVP for sure. Incinerate is the spell for destruction that should be made castable while on the move. Leave fel flame instant for us... you're just gona drive us away.
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90 Worgen Mage
12565
You guys comparing Fel Flame in 5.3 to Fel Flame in 5.4 seem to be forgetting that you will not have KJC to use all willy nilly. When KJC is on cd or perhaps not even taken as a talent, you will start to look at this change a little differently. That is assuming of course, that it stays the same throughout this ptr cycle. It is very likely going to be looked at very closely during the focused raid testing.
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1 Human Mage
0
06/18/2013 09:02 AMPosted by Sybhyl
The actual functional equivalent to scorch here for destro would be incinerate.

It is either because you do not actively play fire mages, or maybe just a misunderstanding on your part, but you are giving waaaay too much credence to your interpretation of how important scorch is to fire.

It is nowhere near as fundamental to the fire spec as incinerate is for Destro. Maybe I am lucky/unlucky that I can see this, but I do play both classes at very high level and I can attest to the fact that your understanding is just off. I'm sorry, but that is just the situation here. You just have some form of idealized version of how firemages work that is not how they actually work.

06/18/2013 05:36 AMPosted by Sybhyl
But this isn't it. Scorch is a dirt cheap little darling

I didn't want to make this thread about fel flame vs scorch, but you seem to be pushing a misunderstanding that somehow scorch is this super efficient fantastic spell for firemages, it isn't.

Please refer to the following math
(disclaimer, the following discussion has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. This topic is not about the numerics of fel flame vs scorch, or anything of that sort. This topic is about design issues with the new fel flame. The following off-topic discussion is purely an effort to correct Sybhyl factual misunderstandings about the mana efficiency of scorch vs fel flame, and serves no purpose for this thread. NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS RELEVANT TO THE DISCUSSION)

Fel Flame - 1.5 seconds
5% mana

Scorch - 1.5 seconds
2% mana

Base caster mana regen 1% per second

Destro Regen: 625% of base
FireMage Regen: maximum 175% of base with RoP, minimum 50% of base with Invocation (most fire mages take invoc btw)

Hence,

Regen corrected mana cost
(n.b. calculating the effect of haste is not needed since haste effects cast times and mana costs proportionally, for both mages and warlocks)

Assuming you only get 1 'tick' of mana regen per cast:

Fel Flame: 5 - 6.25 = 1.25% mana drain per cast

Scorch (max): 2 - 1.75 = 0.25% mana drain per cast
Scorch (min): 2 - 0.5 = 1.50% mana drain per cast

Assuming you wish to normalize regen and costs (for purely theorycraft purposes):

Fel Flame: 5 - (6.25*1.5) = 4.375 mana delta, positive

Scorch (max): 2 - (1.75*1.5) = 0.625 mana delta, positive
Scorch (min): 2 - (0.5*1.5) = 1.25 mana delta, negative

Conclusion
So in fact, under all models, Fel Flame is actually more mana efficient than scorch for the most used fire mage builds (invocation).
No real progression firemage uses RoP.

N.B. even with this misunderstanding dispelled, the real point is the one I made at the top of this post. That being, saying scorch is as important to firemages as incinerate is to destrolocks is just not true.

On topic[:
I fear most of the misunderstandings in this thread are born out of factual misunderstandings of how both spells work.

The point is:
They're not identical, but they are basically the same thing-- spells you only cast when you need to move.

^ This. Design homogenization.
Edited by Zomgdps on 6/18/2013 12:36 PM PDT
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100 Worgen Mage
12940
My point is that scorch does more than just give you something to cast while moving. The new and not so improved fel flame has no real synergy with lock mechanics, especially not destro. It is a filler in the worst possible sense. And at 60,000 mana per cast it is no bargain.


Keep in mind that an afflock or other lock type spec will have dots ticking on the target. A destro mage can cast instant rain of fire and have immolate ticking, or bank conflag for movement.

A mage doesn't have any castable dots except mage bomb. So during movement, fire mage dps with just scorch would be vastly lower than a lock's with fel flame + multiple dots ticking. Having scorch proc pyroblast helps even the playing field a bit.
Edited by Mistwynd on 6/18/2013 1:12 PM PDT
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1 Human Mage
0
Having scorch proc pyroblast helps even the playing field a bit.

Scorch generates procs for mages.
Fel flame generates Dfury/Embers for locks.

Procs are to mages what 'secondary resource' is for locks.
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100 Worgen Mage
12940
^ Sums it up for destruction... it'll break us in PVP for sure. Incinerate is the spell for destruction that should be made castable while on the move. Leave fel flame instant for us... you're just gona drive us away.


Blizzard realized they went overboard giving locks the ability to do their whole rotation on the move. The main point of the nerf to KJC in 5.4 is to restore the traditional gameplay locks had for 7 years of being required to stand still for maximum dps output... just like every other caster class except hunters.

Making Incinerate castable on the move would defeat this purpose as it would effectively allow destro locks to maintain 100% dps output while moving.

Fel Flame is added as a lower-dps option. It's like fire mage scorch. Something for you to cast on the move to keep up dps. But when you're not moving, you'd NEVER cast it. Instead you'd stick to your main dps rotation spells.
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100 Troll Mage
10230
06/18/2013 05:00 AMPosted by Zomgdps
I do not understand this burning desire to 'balance through homogenization'. If I wanted to play with scorch, I would play my mage.


And if I wanted to have to dot up targets, I would have rolled a warlock.
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